Machiavelli & the Renaissance

Machiavelli & the Renaissance

Machiavelli & the Renaissance

Machiavelli & the Renaissance

Excerpt

Professor Chabod's essay onMachiavelli Prince has long been a bibliographical rarity. Here in Oxford, the only way to get acquainted with it is to read it in Bodley, in the 1925 volume of the Nuova Rivista Storica where it was first published. This however has never prevented tutors from impressing on generation after generation of undergraduates reading the Italian Renaissance that Chabod's essay is indispensable. Such a state of affairs would in itself provide sufficient ground for justifying an English translation.

But this is not the only reason which has made me wish for many years to see Chabod's Machiavelli translated into English. I think that this essay represented at the time of its appearance, and still represents in many ways, a landmark in Machiavelli studies. I also think that it represents, together with Ridolfi's recent biography, the best illustration of what I would call the Italian approach to, and interpretation of, the 'Florentine Secretary': an approach and an interpretation that differ in many ways from those prevailing in Anglo- Saxon countries. The present volume contains, besides the essay on The Prince, two other important essays of Chabod on Machiavelli, an earlier, and a much later one. To these has been added the admirable essay on The Concept of the Renaissance, and a truly formidable bibliography, specially composed for the occasion -- which I can only hope will not act as a deterrent to the uninitiated in the niceties of Continental scholarship! If a link were needed for holding together these various essays, Professor Chabod has provided us with one by remarking that 'Machiavelli is the true test . . .

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